How many times have you heard that description (see title) about President Obama? In the first six months of his presidency, I heard my progressive friends say, "He is setting the republicans up; he is three moves ahead of them."
Then - before serious healthcare negotiations even started - he tossed out any prospects for universal healthcare by saying it was off the table. If you are playing chess, the last thing you do is sacrifice the queen as a "set up" for the rest of the game.
President Obama is a compromiser and a gentleman that believes in negotiations - you give a little to find a middle ground. Somehow, he does not realize that the radical republicans do not negotiate - they use every trick in the book to get more than what they originally asked for.
This brings us to the minimum wage issue. As the west coast seeks $15 per hour in Seattle and Los Angeles, the democrats are asking for $10.10 an hour by 2017. Does this sound familiar?
In 2008, the country was aching for universal healthcare. Republicans said no freaking chance. Immediately, democrats caved. We ended up with the ACA. Certainly it is a great move forward, but fraught with issues and falling short of our European contemporaries.
Today much of the country is well beyond the idea of a 95-cent raise to $8.20 in 2015 and eventually to $10.10 by 2017.
Sound familiar? The politicians in Washington are putting a parachute on the will of the people. A minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour over three years is way behind the times and is a victory for republicans. Once again, in the name of progress, the president is limiting progress.
Regarding raising the minimum wage, as we have seen before, the initial move in this chess game is to sacrifice the queen (refusing to ask for $15.00 an hour and possibly getting $12.00). Instead, he is asking for three 95-cent increases over three years. By the way, over the next three years we will likely see approximately 10 percent inflation. This will make a dollar of the proposed increase as no real gain.
It looks like republicans are playing chess, while democrats are playing games.